Irish Pork with Spicy Ale Slaw

St. Patrick’s Day began as a celebration of Saint Patrick and the arrival of Christianity to Ireland. Interestingly, for many it has become more about luck, the wearing of green, parades, and consumption. Whether reverently observing or festively feasting, here is a wonderfully Irish inspired dish – Irish Pork with Spicy Ale Slaw. Marinated in ale and spices, and topped with a beer glaze, this tenderloin is a savory take on an Irish-American classic.

The pork tenderloin is tenderized by marinating in a combination of pale ale, Chinese five-spice powder, salt, and pepper for several hours. The glaze is a reduction of olive oil, garlic, stout beer, brown sugar, honey, and ginger yielding a rich and penetrating savor with sweet and spicy overtones. This is balanced by the refreshing slaw that is tossed with soy sauce, honey, garlic, ginger, and some of the unused marinade, and then refrigerated to lock in the freshness. With such robust layering of flavors, this tenderloin is sure to become a frequent go to dish regardless of which saint’s birthday is being celebrated. So fire up the grill, put on your leprechaun suit, and make your grill that treasure at the end of the rainbow.

Serves 6-8

Irish Pork with Spicy Ale Slaw Ingredients

  • 1 (one) 12-ounce bottle pale ale (preferably Bass)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 pounds pork tenderloin

For the Glaze:

  • 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 small sweet onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 12 -ounce bottle stout beer (preferably Guinness)
  • 1 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 cup honey
  • 1 teaspoon minced peeled ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon cornstarch

For the slaw:

  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced peeled ginger
  • 1/2 head green cabbage, shredded
  • 2 medium bell peppers (red, orange and/or yellow), thinly sliced
  • 2 carrots, cut into matchsticks or shredded
  • 1 large sweet onion, quartered and thinly sliced

Irish Pork with Spicy Ale Slaw Directions

  1. Prepare the pork: Combine the ale, five-spice powder, cayenne and salt and black pepper to taste in a large resealable plastic bag. Reserve 1/4 cup marinade for the slaw. Add the pork to the bag and mix well. Refrigerate 2 to 6 hours.
  2. Make the glaze: Heat the olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook until golden, about 2 minutes. Add 1 tablespoon each stout and brown sugar and cook 4 minutes. Add all but 2 tablespoons of the remaining stout, the honey, the remaining 3/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons brown sugar and the ginger. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring, then lower the heat to medium and simmer until reduced by half, 15 to 20 minutes. Whisk the remaining 2 tablespoons stout and the cornstarch in a bowl; slowly stir into the glaze and boil 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool.
  3. Preheat grill. Remove the pork from the marinade and transfer to grill. Grill over medium heat until a thermometer inserted into the center registers 160 degrees, usually 35 to 45 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board and let rest 5 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, make the slaw: Whisk the soy sauce, honey, garlic and ginger in a large bowl. Whisk in the reserved 1/4 cup marinade. Add the cabbage, bell peppers, carrots and onion and toss. Refrigerate until ready to serve, at least 30 minutes.
  5. Slice the pork and serve with the slaw. Drizzle both the pork and slaw with the glaze.

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